Displaying items by tag: wild
Kristin Allen is a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. She rescues orphaned, sick, displaced, or injured wild animals. Kristin houses them and arranges for veterinary medical care with the goal of releasing them back to their natural habitat. She has cared for hundreds of animals over the years.
For Kristin, rehabbing is a family affair. Her children, Adrienne, Grant, Madeline, and Sophia, are all animal lovers and help with everything from feedings to vaccinations to cage cleaning. Her husband John is a pro at bottle washing.
Kristin has completed coursework with the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and has held her wildlife rehabilitation permit for the last three years. In 2014 she was added under a federal raptor permit with the Western Kentucky Raptor Center. When she isn't tied up with animals, Kristin can be found in her studio, where she has run a successful photography business for over a decade.
Kristin has a degree in elementary education from the University of Southern Indiana.
Bandit Patrol Description
Bandit Patrol Premieres Saturday, January 17 10/9 C on Nat Geo WILD
Meet the everyday heroes who rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured and orphaned wild animals in Western Kentucky. These state-licensed volunteers answer emergency calls day and night to provide the best care for each species. For these dedicated individuals, the animals come first, despite the constant sacrifice of time, money, and sleep. The ultimate goal is to return the animals back to the wild, where they belong. Along the way, they must strike a delicate balance between up-close care and doing everything in their power to ensure the animal remains wild. From abandoned owls, to aggressive raccoons, to ailing raptors, these are the rescuers who make sure our wild animals remain safe.
For these dedicated individuals, the animals come first— despite the constant sacrifice of time, money, and sleep—with the ultimate goal of one day returning them back into the wild, where they belong. Along the way, we will see the delicate balance these women and men must strike with each animal, providing up-close care, but doing everything in their power to keep it wild.
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Special rule establishes permitting requirements for the importation of sport-hunted lion trophies
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 27, 2014) – In response to thepetition submitted by Born Free USA,Humane Society International (HSI), The Humane Society of the United States, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and other animal protection groups, today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed listing African lions as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Additionally, a special rule was proposed along with the listing, which requires permits for the import of sport-hunted lion trophies, which should only be issued for lions originating from countries with a scientifically sound management plan for the species. A strong permitting system is critical because the U.S. imports over half of the hundreds of lion trophies brought home by trophy hunters globally each year.
“Lion numbers have declined by more than half in the last three decades. To allow trophy hunting to continue unabated is kicking an animal while it’s already down,” said Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare. “We thank the U.S. government for acknowledging that this iconic species is in grave trouble and that unsustainable trophy hunting is a part of this problem.”
In the past three decades, the number of African lions in the wild has dropped by more than 50 percent, with potentially fewer than 32,000 remaining today. A recent study found that the West African lion population is critically imperiled with roughly 400 lions in total found in only four protected areas (down from 21 in 2005). And the most current estimates state that there are little more than 2,000 lions left in Central Africa; 18,000 in East Africa and 11,000 in Southern Africa.
“Lion populations and the habitat available to them have diminished dramatically in recent years due to trophy hunting, bone trade, meat and organ consumption, disease, and agricultural expansion,” noted Adam M. Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of Born Free USA. “Born Free and our partners on the ground in Africa will keep vigilant watch on lions and lion trade to ensure that the government’s decision today enhances conservation. The lion has no margin for error.”
“A threatened species listing for African lions will help ensure that American trophy hunters stop contributing to the decline of African lions,” said Teresa Telecky, Director, Wildlife Department, Humane Society International. “While we are disappointed that the U.S. government appears poised to continue allowing the import of some lion trophies, it’s vital that protective trophy import standards be put in place and that there will be transparency in that process. American hunters import about 400 trophies of wild lions each year, so we hope that the ESA protection will significantly curtail this destructive activity.”
A 90-day public comment period on the USFWS proposed ruling will commence on October 29, 2014.
About Born Free USA
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and education, Born Free USA leads campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the mission of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free: to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation. (bornfreeusa.org; twitter.com/bornfreeusa; facebook.com/bornfreeusa.)
About Born Free Foundation
Born Free Foundation, based in England, is an international organization devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free Foundation takes action worldwide to protect threatened species, stop individual animal suffering, and keep wildlife in the wild. Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide each year. (bornfree.org.uk)
About The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals, and visit us online at humanesociety.org.
About Humane Society International
Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org.
About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Founded in 1969, IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare) saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos and video available at www.ifawimages.com.
|Global March for Elephants, Rhinos & Lions October 4, 2014|
On Saturday Oct. 4th, there is a VERY IMPORTANT global event that needs our support. It is the GLOBAL MARCH FOR ELEPHANTS, RHINOS, AND LIONS. Tippi Hedren will be there speaking on behalf of the Lions in the Wild and Captivity which are in danger. PLEASE read the accompanying message. For details on when and where to go link to: https://www.facebook.com/events/1449025795334300/
LOS ANGELES, CA - On Saturday, October 4, 2014, Los Angeles joins 116 cities on 6 continents in the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos, and Lions, the biggest international event ever held to save Earth's vanishing wildlife. Our goal is to draw attention to the crisis facing elephants, rhinos, and lions and to call for an end to the global trade in ivory, rhino horn, and other wildlife body parts (such as lion and tiger bones) that's pushing countless endangered species rapidly towards extinction.
The illegal wildlife trade is a transnational business that funds criminal syndicates, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. It's also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion per year.
At the launch of United for Wildlife's #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign, in June this year, HRH Duke of Cambridge said, "There are two thousand critically endangered species on the verge of being lost forever. It's time to choose a side - between the endangered animals and the criminals who kill them for money. I am calling on people all around the world to tell us: whose side are you on?"
The answer will be loud and clear from the thousands of people in over 116 cities worldwide joining the march on October 4, 2014. Ricky Gervais has voiced his support of the event, saying "How can we allow the extinction of 2 magnificent creatures for the sake of some morons owning tasteless trinkets or trying fake medicine?"
Also in support of the global march, Joanna Lumley, OBE and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, says "If we stand by and watch the brutal extinction of rhino and elephant, the stain of shame on our human consciousness will never be forgiven or forgotten."
The organizers of the grassroots event say that, "only a truly worldwide effort will stop our globally iconic species being sold into extinction," explaining, "World Animal Day this year must focus on action - individuals, peoples, governments - all of us must act to end the vile trade in endangered species."
Officially acknowledged by United For Wildlife as an event that will raise awareness about the challenges facing the world's wildlife, organizers hope the event will also help to reduce demand for endangered species 'products' and will be pushing for governments to ban all commercial trading of endangered wildlife and to put an end to wildlife trafficking.
"Individuals, and society as a whole, can choose to shun ivory, rhino horn, lion and tiger bones as commodities," say event organizers, "but we need governments to play their part too, by increasing penalties for bribery, corruption and trafficking offenses, and by shutting down all ivory retail outlets and ivory carving factories, for example." The event will also call on governments to publically destroy their stockpiles of illegal wildlife products, to show "zero tolerance for illegal trading."
In Africa four elephants are illegally killed for their ivory every hour, and estimates are that between only 300,000 to 500,000 survive today. It is estimated that less than 22,000 African rhino now remain: every nine hours one is killed for their horn. As for the 'king of the jungle,' in South Africa more lions survive now in captivity, where they are bred for petting zoos and then canned hunting, than roam in the wild.
Their path to extinction is very clear and the culprit is well understood. "Ivory, rhino horn, lion and tiger bones continue to be sold to feed a relentless and growing demand, largely in Asia, where the body parts of these endangered animals are still viewed as highly sought after products," explain event organizers.
The ivory and rhino horn trade is particularly cruel and gruesome, not only do poachers indiscriminately slaughter adults, babies or whole herds alike, but often hack off an elephant's tusks or rhino's horns while they are still alive. "When it comes to choosing between saving the elephant, rhino and lion from extinction or slaughtering them for some mythical unproven medicinal property or want for an expensive carving to show social status, we've made our choice," event organizers say. We want them to live.
MARCH & RALLY DETAILS
The three-part series, narrated by actor David Tennant, deploys 50 spycams to record many first-time images of penguin behavior
The life of a penguin is not an easy one, but recording the challenges faced by nature’s most devoted parents and their offspring in remote parts of the world was nearly as hard, and only possible due to the placement of spycams in their midst. For nearly a year, filmmakers deployed 50 animatronic cameras disguised as realistic life-size penguins, eggs and rocks to infiltrate the colonies of three very different species: emperor penguins in Antarctica, rockhopper penguins on the Falkland Islands, and Humboldt penguins in Peru’s Atacama Desert. The resulting footage shows what it is really like to be a penguin from a whole new perspective.
Take a front row seat as they journey to their breeding grounds, raise chicks, dodge predators and return to the sea when Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, A Nature Special Presentation airs on three consecutive Wednesdays, September 24, October 1 and 8, 2014 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). After broadcast, the episodes will be available for online streaming at pbs.org/nature.
Series director John Downer (“Earthflight”) and his team filmed 1000 hours of intimate behavior for this project using both animatronic and conventional cameras, footage which was later condensed to three hours for broadcast. Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, A Nature Special Presentation contains a number of notable firsts due to the sheer length of time the production crews spent observing the colonies as well as to the presence of the spycams.
At the cold Antarctic breeding ground of the emperor penguins, emperorcams and eggcams await the arrival of prospective parents. In a humorous sequence, female emperors engage in flipper fights over the more limited pool of potential mates. Even when it’s clear which emperors are officially couples, some female rivals still try to disrupt a pair, sometimes when mating. Later, egg-laying by a female is filmed for the very first time. The footage shows how the mother uses her tail feathers to catch the couple’s single egg while her feet cushion the fall. A dropped egg on the ice would quickly freeze leaving the parents childless.
On the Falkland Islands, rockhoppercams, eggcams and even rockcams capture other firsts, including the underwater arrival of rockhopper penguins battling the stormy South Atlantic seas as they head for dry land. Some rockhoppers are also filmed using mountaineering techniques, rather than hopping, as they struggle to scale the steep rock walls to reach their clifftop nests. On a darker note, pairs that have lost their chicks to predators turn to kidnapping from others in their desperation to find another chick to care for and heated fights ensue.
The shy and rarely-filmed Humboldt of Peru’s Atacama Desert is the only mainland penguin to live in the tropics. At night, low-light Humboldtcams reveal for the first time how hungry vampire bats feed on both adults and chicks while the Humboldts fight back by kicking dirt in their faces. Other sequences show how the penguins maneuver through dangerous booby bird colonies, gangs of fur seals and potentially deadly sea lions to make their way back and forth to their nests from the sea.
With 50 remotely controlled spycams operating in tough environments, there are always mishaps: losing three eggcams in a blizzard or having a rockhoppercam lose its head in an attack by a jealous mate. But when a predator bird mistakes eggcam for the real thing and flies off with it, viewers are treated to the first aerial of a penguin colony shot by a flying bird. The spycams, which captured many first time events and challenges faced by these dedicated parents and chicks, provide new insights into the study of penguin behavior.
Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, A Nature Special Presentation
Episode 1: The Journey – airs Wednesday, September 24 at 8 p.m.
Emperor penguins cross a treacherous frozen sea to reach their breeding grounds. Rockhoppers brave the world’s stormiest seas only to come ashore and face a daunting 300-foot cliff, hopping most of the way up. Tropical Humboldt penguins negotiate a gauntlet of dangers to reach their desert burrow nests. The hard work for all the penguins finally pays off when their tiny, vulnerable chicks begin to hatch.
Episode 2: First Steps – airs Wednesday, October 1 at 8 p.m.
Watched by spycams, newborn emperor penguins in Antarctica are seen walking on their mothers’ feet and taking their own first unsteady steps. On the Falklands, rockhopper chicks meet their unruly and predatory neighbors while eggcams provide unique views of the colony. In Peru, Humboldt chicks take on fur seals and take aim at gulls.
Episode 3: Growing Up – airs Wednesday, October 8 at 8 p.m.
As their chicks become increasingly independent, emperor and rockhopper parents place them in a crèche and go fishing. Humboldt chicks are left in their burrows as the adults head for the beach. As the young grow bigger and preen out baby fluff they sport punk hairdos. Emperor chicks go skating while rockhopper chicks practice jumping skills. Eventually all the chicks leave for the sea, tackling the same hazards as their parents before them, from sea lions to predatory birds, high cliffs to glaciers.
A two-hour version of this three-hour series, titled “Penguins: Waddle All the Way,” aired on Discovery Channel last November.
Nature is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is executive producer. Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, A Nature Special Presentation is produced by John Downer Productions for BBC.
Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. Throughout its history, Nature has brought the natural world to millions of viewers. The series has been consistently among the most-watched primetime series on public television.
Nature has won over 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 12 Emmys and three Peabodys. The series received two of wildlife film industry’s highest honors: the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award given by the Wildscreen Festival and the Grand Teton Award given by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Recently, the International Wildlife Film Festival honored Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Media.
PBS.org/nature is the award-winning web companion to Nature, featuring streaming episodes, filmmaker interviews, teacher’s guides and more.
Support for this Nature program was made possible in part by the Arnhold Family in memory of Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Estate of Elizabeth A. Vernon, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Susan Malloy and the Sun Hill Foundation, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by the nation’s public television stations.
*****NEW FALL SEASON 33 PROGRAM LISTINGS ON PAGE 4
About WNETAs New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.
NEW FALL SEASON 33 PROGRAM LISTINGS
Wednesday, October 15, 8-9 p.m. on PBS
Nature “Animal Misfits”
Life on earth is incredibly diverse, but it’s not always what you might expect. Alongside the fastest, strongest, smartest animals are nature’s misfits. These odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures at first glance seem-ill equipped for survival. Left at the starting line in the race for life, these are the apparent losers in the story of evolution, yet somehow they still manage to cling to life and in some cases even thrive. Animal Misfits reveals some surprising details about how evolution really works, demonstrating that all animals are remarkably well-adapted to their chosen way of life.
Wednesday, November 5, 8-9 p.m. on PBS
Nature “A Sloth Named Velcro”
In 2000 in the jungles of Panama, a young journalist, named Ana, has a chance encounter with a tiny orphaned sloth, which she names Velcro. For nearly two years, the pair is inseparable until finally Ana travels up a remote river to reintroduce Velcro back to the wild. This is the story Ana's return to Central and South America to see how much has changed since Velcro came into her life. Sloths, once largely ignored, have become a hot topic of scientific researchers. New studies are showing that they're not so sloth-like after all, that they have social structures, they move like primates, and that males keep small harems. Sloth sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers are also springing up throughout the Americas as development displaces these gentle creatures. Shot on location in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia this is a story of friendship and a growing network of people working to learn more about sloths in order to protect them.
Wednesday, November 19, 8-9 p.m. on PBS
Nature “Invasion of the Killer Whales”
A remarkable new story is unfolding in the Arctic, one that has never been told before. As the ice shrinks, the polar bear is struggling to survive in a fast melting world. Polar bears are great hunters on ice but recently their home ground is vanishing from under their feet. Although classified as a marine mammal, the polar bear is not adapted to hunting in the water despite being able to swim huge distances. And they are certainly no match for the world’s greatest aquatic hunter – the killer whale. In the last few years scientists have started noting an ever-growing number of killer whales in Arctic waters in the summer months. More and more have been attracted to these huge hunting grounds by the growing expanses of open water. And they are attacking exactly the same prey animals as the polar bears: seals, narwhal, belugas and bowhead whales.
(Sept. 16, 2014)—Elephants in Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Wildlife’s Ithala Game Reserve, located on South Africa’s east coast, were treated for the first time with a contraceptive vaccine to control the population’s growth rate.
With the addition of Ithala’s population, immunocontraception now is being used to successfully control elephant populations in 19 parks and reserves, including Tembe Elephant Park, (commenced in 2007) and the uMkhuze section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa. Another population in KwaZulu Natal—Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park—also will receive their first vaccination later this year.
In total, four populations will receive three years of treatment under an agreement between Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Wildlife, iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority and Humane Society International. Ezemvelo, HSI and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service are funding the program through the African Elephant Conservation Fund.
Audrey K. Delsink, HSI’s field director of the Elephant Contraception Program in South Africa, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Ezemvelo’s Ithala project. We hope that more elephant managers will fully embrace and use this technology to control elephant population growth in a proactive, effective and humane manner.”
The immunocontraception vaccine contains agents that, when injected into African elephant cows, causes an immune response that prevents eggs from being fertilized. The vaccine is delivered remotely by dart gun, making the technique minimally invasive and eliminating the need for anaesthetization. Immunocontraception is a non-hormonal form of contraception that is based on the scientific principles of immunization through vaccination.
Although elephant poaching and trafficking in ivory severely threatens the survival of African elephants in several African states, in South Africa poaching remains fairly low. The immunocontraceptive program allows elephant populations to be managed humanely, especially in small enclosed parks and private conservancies, to slow their growth rates so as to prevent loss of biodiversity, to maintain ecosystem function and resilience, to reduce harm to human lives or livelihoods, and to avoid compromising key management objectives.
Research conducted over the past 18 years has resulted in a robust body of scientific work demonstrating that immunocontraception is a safe and effective way to control elephant population growth that has no effect on behavior. It is also reversible, allowing managers to fine-tune population growth.
HSI and its affiliate, The Humane Society of the United States, have funded cutting edge research on the use of immunocontraception in African elephants since 1996. Use of immunocontraception is a preferable alternative to other, more expensive, difficult and inhumane population control methods such as culling or capture and translocation which, ultimately, do not solve the problem because populations reactively increase as remaining elephants continue to reproduce.
Read more about immunocontraception of elephants here.
About HSI: Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—on the Web at hsi.org.
About Ezemvelo: Ezemvelo is the conservation authority for the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The organisation has been in existence for over 100 years and is mandated to conserve and manage the biodiversity of the KZN province. There are 100 protected areas and Ezemvelo strives to provide a high standard conservation and eco-tourism product – www.kznwildlife.com
About iSimangaliso: The iSimangaliso Wetland Park was listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and unique global values. Since its inception, 12 years ago the changes affected by the iSimangaliso team have revitalized the tourism industry of the area- www.iSimangaliso.com
Oakland, CA, August 24, 2014…Each year, World Lion Day is celebrated in August. On Sunday, August 24th, from 10:00am – 3:00pm, Oakland Zoo will honor lions in Africa and locally in the Bay Area by having a “Lion Appreciation Day.” On this day, zoo guests will have the opportunity to learn more about lions and have fun participating in a variety of activities. Activities include: special lion treats (enrichment) at 10:00am, a zookeeper talk at 1:15pm, face painting, a lion education station, an “I love lions!” “selfie” station, and tables by two conservation partners, Bay Area Puma Project and Uganda Carnivore Program. Guests may also purchase crafts made by communities in Uganda living near lions.
“Oakland Zoo is deeply committed to lion conservation issues all over the world,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo. “We support lions by partnering with lion conservation programs, like the Uganda Carnivore Program and Ewaso Lions in Kenya. Locally, we work with the Mountain Lion Foundation, the Bay Area Puma Project and the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife on research and our new program, BACAT (Bay Area Carnivore Action Team), which addresses human-mountain lion conflicts in the Bay Area as a united alliance. We are excited to be part of this international appreciation for lions everywhere.”
Lions are one of the most popular and iconic animals in the world; however, lions are in trouble. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is estimated there are just over 30,000 lions left in all of Africa. Habitat loss due to human settlement and agriculture development, loss of natural prey population, and retaliatory killing by humans after lion attacks on livestock are the main reasons many believe lions are in trouble.
“Oakland Zoo is one of the primary supporters of lion conservation in Uganda. Oakland Zoo’s support of our field work has had a significant positive impact on the wildlife as well as the local villagers with whom we collaborate on human-lion coexistence, said Monica Tyler,” Uganda Carnivore Program Director. “Being honored as Oakland Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation partner this year has been especially exciting as it has brought awareness of the conservation challenges facing lions, leopards, and hyenas, and because it will bring much-needed resources for lion research and community-based conservation activities in Uganda.”
For more information about World Lion Day at Oakland Zoo, please visit our website at: http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Calendar_Item.php?i=948
ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:
The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 525-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.
Born Free USA CEO weighs in on CITES meeting July 7 to 11
Washington, D.C., June 25, 2014 -- Citizens from all 180 nations represented at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will monitor the upcoming deliberations of the CITES Standing Committee in Geneva (July 7 to 11, 2014) where decision-makers and politicians will meet to debate the future of some of the planet’s most threatened species.
According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and acting CEO of Born Free Foundation, “CITES delegates have an amazing opportunity in Geneva to address the issues of endangered species conservation – the startling statistics of the wildlife trade will surely make anyone’s blood run cold.”
Roberts explains, “As many as 50,000 elephants were gunned down for their ivory tusks last year. The horn of a rhinoceros, coveted for its alleged medicinal properties, is fetching $60,000 a kilo on the black-market, leading to unabated slaughter. The demand for tiger body parts is causing population decimation, with just 3,500 remaining in the wild. All of these issues and more require urgent attention from CITES.”
Organized criminal syndicates, money laundering, and corruption mean that tackling the illegal trade in these vulnerable species is highly complex. Ivory’s Curse, a recent report commissioned by Born Free USA, highlights alarming links between government-led militias, terrorist groups, and elephant poaching.
Elephants: “Born Free’s delegation will be calling on CITES to suspend debates about future legalized trade in elephant ivory,” explains Roberts. “Experiments to allow ivory trade in recent years have failed appallingly. Africa’s elephants are worse off today than ever before. I strongly believe this is a direct result of the international community’s failure to maintain a strong and comprehensive ban on any ivory trade. We need proactive measures such as those adopted in the Elephant Protection Initiative; ivory stockpile destruction; investment in enforcement; and we must demand eradication.”
Asian elephants will be in the spotlight at CITES, with calls for action to be taken against the illegal capture and smuggling of wild-caught infant elephants into the “domestic trade” where they are brutally trained before being touted for unsuspecting tourists to ride. There is an urgent call for domestic laws to be strengthened and enforced to prevent the laundering of illegal animals into the legal marketplace.
Cheetahs: Another strong focus for Born Free will be the illegal trade in cheetahs, which are being smuggled live out of the Horn of Africa. Earlier this year, CITES agreed to organize a multi-stakeholder workshop to address this problem, an initiative that Born Free fully supports.
Tigers: When it comes to tiger issues at CITES, the problems are all too clear. Roberts says, “Repeated requests for information from governments regarding the measures being taken to address tiger conservation have resulted in inadequate responses, at best. This has severely hampered further action by CITES, but aside from that it has become patently obvious that tigers captive bred in Thailand, Laos, China and Vietnam are feeding into the illegal domestic and international trade.”
There are now over 6,500 tigers in these horrendous “farms,” supplying a market which in turn fuels further poaching of the world’s remaining 3,500 wild tigers. Once again Born Free will do its utmost to ensure this issue gets priority attention at July’s meeting and that a serious commitment is made, as required, to stockpile destruction and closure of these notorious ‘tiger farms’.
Rhinos: Another pressing issue remains the plight of wild rhinos, victims of high levels of poaching for their horns. In 2013, over 1,000 rhino were poached in South Africa alone, and so far this year the deadly total has exceeded 440. While the Standing Committee will be considering a number of measures designed to close existing trade loopholes, many, including Born Free, are calling for a complete ban on all trade, including trophies, and the destruction of rhino horn stockpiles.
“CITES has a mammoth task on its hands, and while talk is good, it is now time for resolute action before it’s too late,” says Will Travers OBE, President of Born Free. “We need to give imperiled species such as rhinos, elephants, tigers and cheetahs a fighting chance. For some species the notion that they can, in some way, continue to endure the added pressure of controlled or limited legal trade while numbers continue to plummet is an idea that has lost credibility. The time for experimenting with the exploitation of our natural wildlife heritage is over. CITES is uniquely placed to take a leading role and to act in the best interests of these and many other species, rather than the financial interests of wildlife poachers and profiteers.”
The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. The Foundation rescues animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care. Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. The Foundation’s high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. More at www.bornfree.org.uk
Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org; www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.
Groundbreaking Giant Screen and Digital 3D Film Features Unrivalled Access To Highly Endangered Species And Highlights Conservation Efforts To Repopulate Them in the Wild
Opens In IMAX®, Giant Screen, Dome and Digital Cinemas in North America Spring 2014
WASHINGTON (February 27, 2014)--The giant panda is one of the rarest species on our planet. A shy, elusive and gentle creature, they once ranged in great numbers between Beijing and the Himalayas. But now, after centuries of human expansion and destruction of their habitat, the giant pandas are on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 1,600 remaining. PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME, a groundbreaking natural-history film, captures for the first time in 3D on the world's largest screens the highly endangered giant pandas living in Wolong National Nature Reserve in the People's Republic of China. This new 3D/2D giant screen film experience gives audiences a unique glimpse into one of the most incredible conservation efforts in human history. The scientists' goal: to increase the numbers in captivity and, far more ambitiously, to return pandas to the wild --to their natural home. Presented by National Geographic Entertainment, this original production will premiere in 3D, 2D, 15/70 and digital formats and will open in giant-screen, IMAX® and digital 3-D cinemas around the United States and worldwide beginning spring 2014.
Directed by Nicolas Brown (Human Planet) and produced by Caroline Hawkins (Meerkats 3D), PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME, is an Oxford Scientific Films Production for National Geographic Entertainment and Sky 3D, in association with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, Wolong Panda Conservation Centre, CCTV9 and Nat Geo WILD.
Narrated by Joely Richardson, the 40-minute large format film PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME follows the pandas at a significant milestone in their history. After decades of captive breeding, the Wolong National Nature Reserve has hit its target number of 300 giant pandas and now must tackle the challenge of reintroducing breeding populations of the species to the wild. Filmmakers were given unrivalled access to the Wolong National Nature Reserve with the support of the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association and the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda. Oxford Scientific Films was granted permission to film the rare release of a panda bred in captivity and to follow a group of pandas being prepared for the wild in a mountain habitat, a first for a Western film crew. Alongside the natural breeding program, the film also captures the captive breeding program, including footage of newborns, young pandas playing, and methods of encouraging pandas to mate.
"PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME will give audiences insight into the extraordinary strides that have been made towards saving the panda in the wild, but will also convey that much work has yet to be done," said Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV). "This is an important story, and National Geographic is grateful for the special access in order to feature the iconic, beloved, charismatic panda on the giant screen and in 3D."
Audiences will also get a chance to help with the conservation effort by participating in a texting campaign to raise funds for the preservation of the pandas' shrinking habitats. They can text PANDA to 50555 to contribute $10 towards a grant that National Geographic will award to the World Wildlife Fund for one of its panda conservation programs, details of which can be found at http://ngpandas.com.
PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME is a true exploration of the environment the pandas are being equipped to live in, taking audiences to the center of the fight to reveal the incredible lengths researchers are going to in order to save them from extinction. PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME follows China's quest to save the giant panda from extinction and the remarkable process leading to the release of a young male panda into the wild.
Very little is known about the behavior and breeding patterns of these shy mountain creatures. Breeding them in captivity largely began as a case of trial and error. But the plan is working and now the dream of releasing captive-bred pandas into the wild has become a reality. At birth, pandas are exceptionally vulnerable; blind and tiny. The cubs at Wolong National Nature Reserve's Bifengxia Panda Base are raised carefully and lovingly, developing playful and affectionate bonds with their keepers, and are carefully monitored by the vets and wildlife scientists at the base.
After years spent simply trying to breed more cubs and raise them to adulthood, the conservationists are now embarking on the next phase of their species-wide rescue mission: releasing these charges back into the wild. But there is a challenge facing them. Pandas raised by humans are not equipped to survive on their own. The last panda to be released, several years ago, survived for only one year before being killed by predators. The conservationists are determined to prevent tragedies like this from happening, and have developed a comprehensive wild training program for the pandas in their care. As a transitional environment, they use the breeding center in Wolong, where the pandas are distanced from humans and prepared to live a life in the wild.
Audiences are introduced to one of the residents, Tao-Tao, who is destined to be released into the remote LiTzu Ping reserve, where only 13 pandas remain. The hope is that Tao-Tao, strong and healthy, will find a female panda and introduce a new bloodline to this precious wild group. Tao-Tao could be the last chance of survival for this tiny population of giant pandas. Audiences are introduced to the conservationists at Wolong tasked to teach Tao-Tao to find water and food on his own and to recognize danger. Cameras capture Tao-Tao's much-anticipated release into the wild, an emotional culmination of years of work, carrying the hope for the future of the species.
PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME invites audiences to witness all of the extraordinary efforts to save the panda and introduce them back in to the wild. With the species excruciatingly close to extinction, PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME is an extraordinary picture of how pandas live and the astonishing measures conservationists are taking to ensure their future.
For more information on PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME, including Theater Listings, links to the trailer, and behind-the-scenes videos, visit http://ngpandas.com. Become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/NatGeoMovies. Or follow us on Twitter @NatGeoMovies.
About National Geographic Cinema Ventures/National Geographic Entertainment
National Geographic Cinema Ventures/National Geographic Entertainment is responsible for production and distribution of giant screen, 3-D and specialty films. Over the last decade, NGCV/NGE has produced or released a number of successful films, including Oscar-nominated documentaries "Restrepo" and "The Story of the Weeping Camel"; giant-screen award-winning films "Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure," "U2 3D," "Mysteries of Egypt" and "Forces of Nature"; and feature-length films "The Last Lions" and "Life in a Day." Lisa Truitt is president of NGCV/NGE, and Mark Katz is president of NGCV/NGE distribution. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/movies.
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SF Zoo gorilla meets the public on Saturday—and finally gets her name
DECEMBER 18, 2013, SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco Zoo is thrilled to announce Saturday, December 21 at 10:00am as the first public viewing of our 5-month old female gorilla at the Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Over the last month, the care of the infant has slowly and carefully been transitioned from Zoo animal staff to the infant’s western lowland gorilla family. These important introductions began with the matriarch of the six-member troop, 33-year old Bawang, who eagerly served as surrogate mother to five-year old male Hasani under similar circumstances. As predicted, Bawang instantly assumed the role of adoptive mother of the infant and they have been together ever since. Under Bawang’s careful supervision, each gorilla has made the little one’s acquaintance and each one has expressed their curiosity and affection in their own way. Big brother, Hasani, is particularly excited to have received a baby sister for his fifth birthday, which was on December 8. He is often seen playfully engaging with the infant under the watchful eye of the troop’s females. “Once again, Bawang has taken on the huge responsibility of motherhood and has set a positive tone for the troop” said San Francisco Zoo President Tanya Peterson. “We feel very blessed to be able to contribute to the population of this critically endangered species and we feel especially grateful to introduce the entire gorilla family to the public during this holiday season.”
For the benefit of gorilla care and feeding, the public has given $1 per vote toward their favorite of three finalist names (Malaika, which means "heavenly messenger" in Swahili; Kenura, which means "joy" in Kikuyu; Kabibe, which means "little lady" in Swahili). To celebrate the momentous occasion and to properly introduce the little one to the San Francisco Zoo community, the name of the infant gorilla will be announced during the Media Preview on Friday, December 20, at 8:30am.
About the birth
At birth on July 17, 2013, the female infant was 5-pounds, 1-ounce and healthy. Her parents are Nneka (Ni-NEE-ka) and Oscar Jonesy. The infant was born on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and is the first birth for mother Nneka and the second sired by silverback Oscar Jonesy. The previous gorilla birth at the SF Zoo was in 2008 when Hasani, the now five-year old male, was born to Monifa and Oscar Jonesy.
About western lowland gorillas
The western lowland gorilla (scientific name: Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a critically endangered species. Found in Africa with populations in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo, the actual number of gorillas in the wild is unknown due to their habitation in some of the world’s densest and most remote rainforest regions. These gorillas can weigh up to 440 pounds and stand four to five feet when upright on two feet. According to the World Wildlife Fund, poaching, habitat destruction, and diseases such as the Ebola virus have contributed to the decline of the species by 60 percent over the past 25 years. The WWF estimates that if threats to western lowland gorillas were removed, it would take at least 75 years for the species to recover. A wild gorilla’s average lifespan is approximately 35 years and a gorilla in captivity is estimated to live for 40-50 years. There are currently 342 western lowland gorillas at 53 AZA-accredited zoos in North America.
Western lowland gorillas are the smallest of the four gorilla subspecies with a brownish-grey coat with red highlights. Adult males have silver-colored fur on their back and legs, which is the origin of the name silverback. They are herbivores and enjoy plant-based diets that include fruit, vegetables, leaf-based browse, bark, grain, and tubers. They live in family groups called troops of four to six members that are led by a dominant older male and consist of multiple females, juveniles, and young males. Females begin reproduction at age nine or 10 and do not produce many offspring. Female gorillas have a pregnancy term of nearly nine months and usually give birth to one infant. The infant will be held by its mother or ride on her back for approximately one year.
About the San Francisco Zoo
The mission of the San Francisco Zoo is to connect visitors with wildlife, inspire caring for nature, and advance conservation action. Nestled against the Pacific Ocean, the SF Zoo is an urban oasis. It is home to over 1,000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals representing more than 250 species and lovely peaceful gardens full of native and foreign plants. The majestic Roberts African Savanna offers a multi-species landscape with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, visitors can get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly sisters Kachina and Kiona. Lemurs leap through the Lipman Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Penguin Island is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. The Zoo’s troop of gorillas lives in the lush Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Farm animals for feeding and petting can be found in the popular Fisher Family Children’s Zoo. The historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and the 1904 miniature Little Puffer steam train are treasured by generations of visitors and the newly renovated $3.2 million Elinor Friend Playground re-opened in fall 2013 to rave reviews. The SF Zoo offers a rich history for its guests, including fun rides, educational programs, and exciting events for children of all ages. The SF Zoo is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).